January 2008 Airline Pet Travel Report

The January, 2008 Airline Pet Travel Report contains pet incidents for the month of November, 2007.

Alaska Airlines reports the injury of two dogs during transport. One with an injured paw and one with an injured mouth, both injuries seem to be from the dogs attempting to escape from the kennel.

Continental reports the loss of a 12 year-old cat while being loaded in Raleigh, NC. The cat escaped when the door popped open. Continental reprimanded staff for not applying zip-ties on the door, per their guidelines. The cat has not been found at the time of the report. Continental transported 7,473 pets during the month of November.

Delta reports the death of two pets and the loss of three. A 14 month old Bulldog Terrier was found decreased upon arrival in Buffalo, NY from Atlanta, GA. The necropsy indicated the dog had a preexisting heart condition, and the stress of the flight possibly caused his death. On November 2nd a 14 year-old cat arrived in Tampa from JFK deceased. The necropsy report indicates the cause of death is "cardiopulmonary collapse" contributed to by three pre-existing conditions of cardiac disease, liver disease, and kidney disease.

In two of the losses Delta reported, the dogs did not arrive at the destination. One was a Pug SGF-ATL ATL-LGA, the kennel arrived in LGA empty. The second was an eight week-old Great Dane puppy routed MGM-ATL ATL-PVD. The dog never arrived in PVD. Delta states that the possibility of theft is being investigated in both cases. The final Delta loss was initially reported in the December 2007 report. A cat escaped its kennel while being taken to the aircraft in Philadelphia, PA. Delta states that they accepted a non-compliant kennel and did not secure the door with cable ties.

American Airlines also reported the injury of a dog that occurred on October 16th, 2007. This was not included in the December 2007 report.

Hawaiian Airlines reported the injury of a dog that occurred on October 30th, 2007. This was not included in the December 20007 report. A dog fell off the belt loader while being loaded into the aircraft. The disturbing aspect of this incident seems to be that the owner saw and reported the event and it was not reported by the loading crew.

Reader Update

PetFlight received the following from the owner of the Bulldog about the Delta incident:

I used Delta's Petfirst service to send my 1 year old bulldog, Caleb, to Buffalo, NY from Atlanta, GA on November 21, 2007. Caleb never made it.

I sent Caleb the night before I arrived, so I had my friend go pick him up at the airport. She was first told by an employee that they forgot Caleb somewhere in the airport facility, but assured her that he was fine and they would immediately return to get him.

After about an hour, they returned with him, only realized that he was deceased before they pushed the crate through the door to pass him on to her. The employee said he thought Caleb was sleeping.

Since then, both my friend and I have been trying to get in touch with Delta about the incident only to be callously bounced from person to person, department to department with the only information to fill out a claim form.

Pet Travel Incidents by Airline during November, 2007.
Airline Losses Injuries Deaths
Alaska Airlines 0 2 0
American Airlines 0 1 0
Continental 1 0 0
Delta 3 0 2
Hawaiian Air 0 1 0
Total 4 4 2

See all incidents included in the January, 2008 report.

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Source: January 2008 Air Travel Consumer Report.